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Why You Should Mix Business with Pleasure

your amygdala and your social life | BIGG SuccessThere’s this teeny tiny part of your brain – it sits at the base of your brain – that apparently reveals a lot about your friends. It’s called the amygdala.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that people with a bigger amygdala have more friends. This almond-shaped area is more than twice the size in people who are more social.

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Perhaps the most striking part of this research was the difference between the two groups:

  • Less social people had less than 15 people with whom they had regular contact
  • People with a bigger amygdala had as many as 50 acquaintances

The researchers aren’t sure of the direction of the relationship. Does a bigger amygdala lead to more friends or do more friends lead to a bigger amygdala?

The lead researcher said that the brain is a “use it or lose it organ.” So she postulated that it expands with the number and the nature of your relationships.

A simple way to have more friends

The thing we found most interesting was a BIGG tip about how to get more friends: People with more friends tended to have more complex relationships.

In other words, they mix business with pleasure!

And yet we’ve heard our whole lives – don’t mix business and pleasure. Wrong! You should mix the two.

It’s consistent with the BIGG idea behind BIGG success – synergy. We used to think it was essential to separate people into two camps – professional and personal.

However, many people miss a lot of opportunities by drawing this line between work and play. You can have better relationships with more people if you erase that line.

The relational power of social media

While the researchers didn’t look at online connections, we think this actually highlights one of the best things about social media. We get to see the whole person now.

We may meet someone in a business setting. But once we connect online, we can learn about their families, their hobbies, their interests and more.

Social media will help you keep track of what’s going on in the lives of more people. By watching status updates in your stream, you can pull something personal up with business colleagues.

It deepens the relationship instantly. The people in your life know you’re paying attention to them.

It helps create synergy which leads to more fun AND better results. Now that’s BIGG success.

Have you found that social media helps you keep up with more people?

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Do Distractions Lead to Success?

We saw an article about distractions and success by The Wall Street Journal. A new study shows that students with attention-deficit disorder achieve more.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of Michigan. Students with ADD were more likely to have won a prize at an art show or a science fair.

They were higher achievers across the board.

Hear George & Mary-Lynn discuss today’s post on The BIGG Success Show Podcast! Click a player to listen.


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Could it be that lack of focus is a competitive advantage?

Yes, according to another study by researchers at the University of Toronto and Harvard University. They gave students a short test and measured their ability to filter out background noise – like a nearby conversation or an air conditioning running.

The students who struggled to ignore the noise were more likely to be “eminent creative achievers” based on their previous performances.

Daydreamers are more creative

The article also cites research that shows a link between daydreaming and creativity. So instead of getting your head out of the clouds, maybe you should get your head into them!

Entrepreneurs ride an emotional roller coaster. And the highs are higher and the lows are lower. It’s part of the game. Daydreaming may help.

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George KruegerWhen I’m feeling low or I’m feeling a great deal of stress – which often come in one crushing package – I take time to daydream. Sometimes I do it at my computer, but most of the time I rely on the basic tools of pen and paper. As I do a mind dump, I can feel the energy coming back to me. I get that spark of creativity. I begin seeing solutions. It really helps.

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Embrace distractions

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Mary-Lynn FosterI don’t know if it’s my background as a radio DJ – talk about a business with a lot of things going on all at once – I can’t work without background noise. Quiet is a distraction to me!

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BIGG success is life on your own terms. If distractions help you, by all means, get distracted!

Other people are always telling us to focus. Our parents did it. Our teachers did too. Bosses expect it as well.

But sometimes, less structure may lead to better results. Do what works for you.

When you’re trying to think creatively, bring out the distractions! It leads to BIGG success!

Do you work better with distractions?

Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00716-070711.mp3

Image in this post from Colton Witt Photography

Left-Handed, Dyslexic Entrepreneurs are the Most Successful Leaders

left-hand-writingLeft-handed people comprise about 10% of the population. Yet 57% (four) of our last seven Presidents have been lefties.

Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were righties. (Although, some people assert Reagan was a leftie who became ambidextrous because he was “cracked by the ruler” as a school kid.)

Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford were all lefties. (Although, Ford said in his autobiography that he wrote with his right-hand when he was standing. We wonder which hand he used when he was tripping? :-)

Since we’re both lefties, we were really curious about this phenomenon. What explains this seemingly huge imbalance between the general population and Presidents? It’s simple:

Lefties make better leaders.

The left side of our brains is ruled by logic; the right side by intuition. Left-handed people are more likely to use the right hemisphere of their brain. While logic is important for leaders, intuition rules – especially in times of uncertainty and crisis.

The success of dyslexic entrepreneurs

We couldn’t find any studies about the handedness of entrepreneurs. However, about 10% of the population is dyslexic.

It is commonly cited that a disproportionate share of dyslexics are left-handed. Research has shown that dyslexia affects 35% of all entrepreneurs and just 1% of managers in the corporate world. This same study showed that, on average, dyslexic entrepreneurs:

  • are more likely to be serial entrepreneurs
  • grow their businesses faster
  • hire more employees

Coping for BIGG success

The researchers assert that entrepreneurs with dyslexia may grow faster as a coping mechanism. They learned to delegate at a young age, finding people who could easily do things they found difficult.

This ability to recruit and work with key people is an advantage in building an entrepreneurial enterprise. The need to hire people to help shore up the entrepreneur’s own strengths creates a pressure to grow faster.

As a business grows, structure is required to continue serving customers effectively and efficiently. The researchers postulate that entrepreneurs with dyslexia may feel stressed by this structure. So they choose to sell the business and move on to another entrepreneurial endeavor. Entrepreneurs without dyslexia are more comfortable with structure so they tend to stick with one business longer.

An opportunity for government officials and venture capitalists

So…

Lefties make better leaders.

Lefties are more likely to be dyslexic.

People with dyslexia are more successful entrepreneurs.

Therefore, if we’re going to grow our economy…

We should look for left-handed people with dyslexia who want to be entrepreneurs.

Government officials should start programs to locate and encourage these potential venturers.

Venture capitalists can refine their screening process and just look for left-handed entrepreneurs with dyslexia.

What if you’re not a left-handed dyslexic?

Before we close, we want to speak to all of you who aren’t left-handed dyslexics. Is there any hope for you? Of course there is.

Remember that it’s April Fool’s Day!

We made two (at least) logic errors in our analysis above:

  • “Lefties make better leaders.”

    While it’s interesting that such a high percentage of our recent Presidents have been left-handed, there’s no evidence to indicate that lefties make better leaders than righties.

  • “It is commonly cited that a disproportionate share of dyslexics are left handed.”

    While we found numerous people making this assertion, we found no credible research to back it up.

The benefit of being YOU

So what’s the point? Was this whole post just a ruse? No.

We wanted to highlight that YOU have an advantage. It’s up to YOU to find it. Nature has endowed YOU with certain characteristics – handedness, dyslexic or not, etc.

Your environment has afforded YOU with certain experiences unique to YOU. Your perceptions, knowledge and know-how are all yours.

Your duty, should you choose to accept it, is to find where your endowments and your experiences are leading YOU.

Once you find that, YOU are ready to build a life, not just make a living. That’s life on your own terms! That’s BIGG success!

Image in this post from tulp

Why Women and Men Should Not Compete

gender_symbolPicture a group of adults given a task to perform. Research has shown that, if one adult performs worse than his or her peers on that task, it will result in a loss of self-esteem. Furthermore, that person is likely to perform more poorly on that same task in the future.

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Now put a group of four- to five-years old kids in the same situation. There is no affect on the child who didn’t perform as well as his or her peers.

So what do kids know that we adults have forgotten?
They think they can learn new tricks, they can adapt. We adults think that an old dog can’t be taught new tricks!

Kids also think they can try harder next time and make up the difference. Isn’t that a healthy attitude? So why don’t we think that as adults?

Have we been beat down too many times? Are we too hard on ourselves? Do we want to think that things should come easily for us?

Life will throw you curve bills. On the path to bigg success, there will be times when you try and you don’t succeed. It’s important to learn from your mistakes, but we often learn the wrong lesson.

Learn. Adapt. Then double your efforts.

Don’t compete with the opposite sex
A more recent study at the University of Michigan showed that kids can be affected by competition. Little girls respond negatively if a little boy does better on a task. Little boys respond likewise – there’s a damaging impact if a little girl does better.

So what can we conclude? Should we learn that women shouldn’t try to compete with men? Or that men shouldn’t try to compete with women?

See them as a role model, not competition
There will almost certainly always be somebody better. If not, maybe a good dose of humility is in order! But rather than comparing yourself to that person and getting discouraged, look at that person as a role model.

You are where you are. They are where you want to be. See what you can learn from them so you get to where they are.

Chances are they got started earlier. Chances are they’ve put more time in. Chances are they’ve gotten a few lucky breaks – the kind of luck that comes to people who put themselves out there and take calculated risks.

So don’t see them as competition; look at them as a role model.

Don’t compete with others at all

But there’s a higher order – a higher level of consciousness regarding comparisons. Here it is:

Don’t compete with anyone else – man, woman or beast!

Compete with yourself.

Find that thing you at which you excel. Then strive to improve a little bit every day – day after day, the “new you” competing against the “old you”.

Focus on making yourself the best competitor you could ever encounter! Have you ever noticed that a great competitor brings out the best in his or her opponents?

Become your own best competitor and you’ll be a bigg success!

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Thank you so much for the gift of your time today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss the best investment you can make right now. Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

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One Small Step Leads to a Giant Leap on Earth

BlogActionDay2009 We can’t believe it, but a year has passed since the last Blog Action Day. Last year, we participated for the first time.

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The theme was world poverty. We did a show about how two sets of farmers worked together. One group was in Ohio and the other was in Kenya. Together they had raised the standard of living for over 5,000 people.

This year’s theme is climate change. Now we’re aware that some of you may be groaning right now. You don’t think that temperatures are getting warmer or more extreme. Even if they are, you think it’s something beyond our actions as humans.

Now others may be groaning because of the first group groaning. It doesn’t matter either way.

We think we can all agree that we should be good stewards of the resources we’re fortunate enough to have.

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georgeMy dad was definitely a conservative and a conservationist. He treasured our natural resources. He hated waste … of any kind. He was a contractor who made use of every scrap of every building material.

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marylynnThat’s our point today – you don’t have to try to save the world to save the world. You can take just one small step that leads to a giant leap for mankind.

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One small step on the moon

We recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moonwalk. Of course, we all remember the famous words uttered by Neil Armstrong as he became the first person to step on the moon: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Embedded in those amazing words is a nugget of incredible wisdom. It’s how you change the world … one small step can lead to a giant leap.

The world. Your corner of it. You change one small step at a time.

One small step leads to 34% more

Imagine a trash can. It’s sitting all by itself. People come up to it and throw things away. Only some of those things are recyclable.

So next to the first trash can, imagine an identical can with a lid – a lid with a six-inch hole cut in it.

You see, according to Sean Duffy, an assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers University – Camden, we’ve come to think that a trash can with a hole in the lid means it’s for recyclables.

This simple step – setting a recyclable can right next to a regular trash can – increased recycling of bottles and cans by 34% [PDF] in a month long study he conducted on his campus.

To help you understand how huge that number is, researchers consider a behavioral change of 4 to 5 percent significant. So 34 percent is a giant leap!

If we all just make one small step like the one we described here, it can lead to a giant leap in conservation. Getting the most out of what we’ve been given … sounds like bigg success!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. You really changed the climate for us!

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss how to keep ripples in your schedule from creating tidal waves in your life. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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